The Fighting Illini in 2008 made their first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1984.
Jan. 24, 2008
Over 12 million households tuned in to watch the University of Illinois and USC square off in the 2008 Rose Bowl, marking the second-largest television viewing audience of the bowl season. It finished second only to the national championship game between Ohio State and LSU, which drew in 16 million homes. The Big Ten Conference went for the sweep of the top-3 spots as Michigan's win over Florida in the Capital One bowl ranked as the third-highest with 10 million viewers.
Illinois fans purchased more than 26,000 tickets for the 2008 Rose Bowl, comprising the largest attendance of this year's bowl season with 93,923. It led all other games, including the national championship game, which posted a record attendance of 79,651.
1. National Championship Game (Ohio State/LSU) - 16,291,263 (FOX)
2. Rose Bowl (Illinois/USC) - 12,531,880 (ABC)
3. Capital One (Michigan/Florida) - 10,301,679 (ABC)
4. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (West Virginia/Oklahoma) - 8,736,935 (FOX)
5. FedEx Orange Bowl (Kansas/Virginia Tech) - 8,345,715 (FOX)
Bowl Game Attendance
1. Rose Bowl (Illinois/USC) - 93,923
2. National Championship Game (Ohio State/LSU) - 79,651
3. Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Auburn/Clemson) - 74,413
4. Allstate Sugar Bowl (Georgia/Hawaii) - 74,383
5. FedEx Orange Bowl (Kansas/Virginia Tech) - 74,111